Hastert Admits Foley Victim's Parents Said 'Stop it.' [VIDEO]
Hastert's press conference, just moments ago, included the requisite denial of what he knew when, saying that he only learned of the "explicit emails" last week, transitioning into claims that things were "leaked" and that the investigation would reveal the truth.
The investigation by the toothless ethics panel? Sure. The one Hastert has systematically neutered? Sure. But the truth is, this scandal wasn't "leaked" to the press; it trickled out as pages began to purge upon learning of ABC's publication of some of the tamer messages.
Be that as it may, the money quote comes after, when Hastert utters what may become Hastert's 4 words (from auto generated transcript, video right):
Q: how were the emails characterized? were they overly friendly? not only as the speaker, but as a former, -- former teacher, coach, did that not ring alarms to you?
Hastert: we were advised in our office and then the clerk's office and then to the chairman of the page board that there was a katrina message, period. we knew of no other emails, not we, in the system, there were no other emails other than that one i know of. we didn't even have the email because the parents didn't want to give the email out. They said: 'stop it.'
the guy that i asked to do that job a long time ago is john shimkus. he's an army ranger, a tough guy. he goes right to the point when there's a problem. he confronted the member. and the member said that he would stop doing that. asked him if there was any other messages, he said no. said don't do it again. that's what we did. the parents were happy. and could we have done it better? could the page board have handled it better? in retrospect, yes. but at that time what we knew and acted upon was what we had.The parents asked to "stop it." As a teacher and coach, how could he hear that a teenager's parents want communications with a 52-year-old congressman to stop and no bells went off?
They went to the congressman and asked him to stop? He said he wouldn't do it again? Are you kidding me? Is this Congress or second grade?
It's difficult to see how a human who reads this and watches this clip can't conclude that Hastert, and everyone else involved, committed an unconscionable act of political and moral cowardice. This is pathetic and shameful. Resign? He should crawl into a hole.